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Hagerman Pass is a popular 4-wheel-drive destination on the Continental Divide between Leadville and Basalt. It is known for its variety of scenery, including mountain views, summer wildflowers, wildlife and remnants of former railroad activity. The route to Hagerman Pass is considered a moderate 4WD route.
Originally, a railroad traveled through this region to cross the Continental Divide. The railroad grade traveled south along Turquoise Lake and went through Hagerman Tunnel at the Continental Divide. Eventually the railroad was abandoned, and the tunnel caved in, but a road travels up the ridge and crosses above at Hagerman Pass at 11,925 feet.
On the west side of Hagerman Pass, the road eventually leads to Reudi Reservoir and the town of Basalt. From there, retrace your route. An alternative route is to travel east on Highway 82, passing through Aspen and Independence Pass, and return to Lake County and Leadville via this paved route.
In Leadville, beginning at Harrison Avenue, travel west on W. 6th Street for 0.8 miles. Then turn right on County Road 4 (McWerthy Drive) and continue for 4.9 miles, which drives along the south side of Turquoise Lake. Continue driving along the lake and at a major fork with signage, a left will take you to Hagerman Pass. (If you stay right, the road will continue to travel along the lake and eventually loops around the entire lake.)
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